Responsible dog ownership is key to preventing dog bites

As a firm that has extensive experience dealing with dog bite claims, Hupy and Abraham knows that preventable solutions are available to protect both people and dogs alike. Unfortunately, statistics measuring dog bite injuries in the United States have been rising annually. More importantly, children under the age of 4 are the most frequent victims of bites that are likely to require serious medical attention.

Adults can be victims as well, with nearly 6,000 postal workers having been attacked by dogs in 2014 alone. As a result, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Postal Service sponsor a National Dog Bite Prevention Week each year.

Through our many awareness campaigns, Hupy and Abraham has found that information and education are the best solutions to quell these sorts of public health issues. Below are several informational tips from our experienced personal injury attorneys to help avoid accidental injury and prevent dog bites.

5 Tips to Prevent Dog Bites - Responsibly

  • Children are more likely to be bitten by a dog they know. Because they are more likely to approach the usually friendly neighborhood dog, children are more likely to be hurt by a familiar pet. Dogs, like humans, all react differently to noise, pain and surprises. So, it is important to teach children to be cautious around pets and always ask to touch or approach a dog.
  • Be a responsible dog owner. It is crucial to properly train your dog and always follow local leash and licensing laws. Teach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “no” and “come” to build a bond of obedience and trust. It is also important to regularly socialize and interact with your dog to avoid preventable behavioral issues.  
  • Pay attention to a dog’s body language. Look for cues that designate the dog’s discomfort or fear, such as a tensed body, stiff tail, pulled-back head or ears, yawning and intense staring. Even the friendliest of dogs can react negatively if disturbed or frightened while sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Never scream or run away. If a dog’s body language indicates fear or aggression, stay motionless with your hands at your side. Teach children to be “still like a tree.” Once the dog loses interest, you can slowly back away, or wait for it to leave.
  • If bitten, act quickly. Immediately wash the wound and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then, if necessary, report the dog and its owner to your local animal control agency. Depending on the situation you may need to seek legal representation. Don’t know if you should seek legal action? Read our frequently asked questions about dog bites and find out what you should do next.

Many things can be done to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing your pet, to educating your children on how, or if, they should approach a dog. With nearly one-third of all homeowner’s liability insurance claims going toward dog bites annually, both the physical and monetary costs are high.

Please keep these tips in mind when you or your children interact with a dog – familiar or otherwise. For more information about dog bites, get your FREE dog bites brochure.  If you or a loved one experience a dog bite-related injury, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 for a free consultation today. 
Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham